The body is an incredible machine. Each person’s body has a built-in detox system — starting with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract — that processes toxins, chemicals, and other harmful substances that your food inevitably contains.
The GI tract begins to remove harmful substances from your food by sending them out of the body in your stool or to the liver and kidneys to be fully detoxified. The GI tract also breaks down the food you eat, using the nutrients to build muscle, bone, brain, and other critical body tissues.
Over time, your gut can get overwhelmed from the toxins it absorbs from the food and water you consume, the air you breathe, and the products you use on a daily basis. A gut cleanse — sometimes called a colon cleanse — can ensure all those toxins aren’t affecting your ability to stay healthy.
What Does Your Gut Do for You?
When someone refers to the “gut,” they’re typically referring to the entire digestive system. That’s everything from mouth to anus — including the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, and large intestine, also called the colon.
Every section of the digestive tract has a function, and the colon is one of the most important. It’s a U-shaped part of the intestines that is up to six feet long. The colon has four sections: ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid. A whole ecosystem of gut bacteria resides inside the colon, helping to keep your digestion on track.
What Is a Gut Cleanse?
A gut cleanse is an incredibly effective way to improve your overall health and wellness, boosting your gut’s ability to digest food and detoxify harmful substances. A gut cleanse has three main components: eliminating, flushing, and replenishing.
First, you eliminate food items known to cause digestive issues, such as dairy, meat, gluten, and other allergens, while eating a clean diet — ideally, all fruit — for several days. Next, you flush your digestive system of all the extra waste, toxins, and organisms it has collected over time. Last, you replenish your gut’s beneficial organisms, also called probiotics.
Cleansing your gut is something you should regularly do — it’s not just a one-time quick fix. Your gut needs regular maintenance. Doing a gut cleanse is a great opportunity to kick-start new, healthy habits. You will feel so much better after clearing out the old gunk and welcoming in healthier foods, more beneficial probiotic bacteria, and smoother digestion.
Signs That It’s Time for a Cleanse
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is ruthless when it comes to messing with your gut health. All of the meat, dairy, sugar, wheat, and fried and processed foods unleash all sorts of havoc on your body, leading to accumulated toxins and even compacted fecal matter in the gut. Many people say that they can feel when it’s time for a gut cleanse.
Your body is pretty good at sending out signals to make sure you’re aware that something is off-balance. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s a pretty strong indicator that it’s time for a gut cleanse.
- Skin blemishes
- Mental fog
- Poor sleep
- Low energy
- Poor appetite
- Body odor
- Body aches
- Bad breath
Gut Detox Protocol
To ensure you’re doing the gut cleanse properly, be sure to follow the dietary instructions below. In some ways, a cleanse is similar to fasting. You will be eliminating a lot of foods that you ordinarily eat unless you already follow a very clean diet.